Rocket Lab is back in action!

The mission name may be a nod to Capella’s SAR technology that gives high-quality images of the world day or night, and in any weather.

Rocket Lab is back in action!
Rocket Lab is back in action!

Rocket Lab is back in action!

Rocket Lab aced its return-to-flight mission on August 30 by delivering an Earth-observation satellite, Rocket Lab’s Electron Booster to orbit. The Electron booster successfully lofted a roughly 220-lb, (100 kilograms) satellite called Sequoia for the San Francisco company Capella Space.

Space.com quoted a mission statement by Rocket Lab representatives stating that Sequoia will be the first publicly available satellite in the company’s commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) constellation. The mission name may be a nod to Capella’s SAR technology that gives high-quality images of the world day or night, and in any weather.

They added that Capella’s space-based radar can detect sub-0.5-meter changes on the surface of the Earth, providing insights and data that can be used for security, agricultural and infrastructure monitoring, also as disaster response and recovery.

The 57-foot-tall (17 m) Electron provides dedicated rides to orbit for little satellites like Sequoia, which are getting more and more capable as electronic components still shrink. The 14th orbital launch for Electron, which debuted with a test flight in May 2017 was called “I Can’t Believe it isn’t Optical”.

The rocket had strung together 11 consecutive successful missions until Independence Day failure, which resulted within the loss of seven satellites. Rocket Lab has already taken steps in the direction of its reusability vision by plucking the falling boosters out of the sky with a helicopter, to recover Electron's first stages shortly after the launch and will continue to work in that direction.

Rocket Lab’s 13th mission had ended in failure on July 4, after the company’s rocket experienced “an anomaly” after launching to space. As a result of this, Rocket Lab lost its rocket, as well as all the satellites it carried on board. But there were no problems this time around and it was Rocket Lab’s first flight since the July 4, failure launch.